Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Told To Go Get Twisted

Yes, another knitter has been learning how to spin!

The lovely Vivian of the NEV Knitting Squad, a lady who is multi-talented when it comes to handcrafts (She even stocks a Craft Store on Baldiwn Street!) has been endeavouring to teach me how to take the various fibers I have somehow acquired over the last few months and transform them into a knittable state.

We have begun with the basics: Making singles on a drop spindle.

This is my very first drop spindle:

Yes, you are looking at a potato impaled upon a stick.

Yes, it is THAT easy to make a drop spindle!

THIS is my Very First Ever yarn.

I span it at Vivian's house under her watchful eye, and she plied it on her spinning wheel and showed me how to set the twist before turning me loose to get the basic hand motions so ingrained that I don't have to think about it any more.

She sat me at her (Yarn-less) spinning wheel while we were waiting for my first efforts to dry with the deceptively simple order to "Keep it going in the same direction" for a few minutes while she went to boil the jug.

I'll tell you this now: It's blasted difficult!

My record was about 15 seconds before I lost the knack and it started reversing itself. I think I'll stick with my nice, safe spud-stick for a while. At least it's easy to fix if I accidentally break it!


Monday, 9 January 2012

Stash Bash: Round One!

Hello, Blogosphere!

Long time, no see.


I could sit here and make all these excuses about it being first NaNoWriMo, then Christmas, then New Years, and then having people at my workplace quit or go back to their home towns leaving lots of lovely extra shifts for me to work and eating all my blogging and crafting time; or I could just leap back into things and pretend that those horrible long months of silence and non-activity never happened.

Yeah, leaping into things is definitely a lot more fun than making excuses. Especially if you're leaping into a bouncy castle! But I digress.

Like many knitters, I am an inveterate collector of yarns of all colours and descriptions. There are currently a suitcase, stilt box and several 'Eco Bags' full of yarn scattered around my flat. It is probably a very good thing that I live alone and am not irking my partner or any flatmates with the continued expansion of my collection!

Another thing is that I am in no way at all a yarn snob! I am just as likely to go for some glorious Merino or Alpaca blends as I am to grab some deliciously coloured acrylic. Ah, gotta love all those 'crylics who selflessly give their lives to make those wonderfully bright and affordable yarns! ;)

As well as collecting yarn myself, I also love having a perv at other people's stashes. Logic leads me to assume that since I'm not the only person who drives my non-knitter associates slightly mad with my compulsive yarn buying, then I'm not alone in loving to have a peek at other people's collections.

So: Here are a few things I picked up over the course of 2011. Inevitably most of my acquisitions are sitting in my stash waiting for that 'Aha!' moment of inspiration to hit before they are turned into something truly magical, so I shall show you some of the few lucky items that have definite futures awaiting them :)

This is a hand dyed Cotton-Rayon blend I picked up at a Craft Open Day in Milton. I think it will become a nice, absorbent cowl for summer rides on my motorbike:

From the same Open Day, a wee bag of Merino/Gotland cross lamb fleece to force me to learn how to spin:

These I picked of for specific Christmas presents. Sadly none of the planned presents were actually finished in time, due to extra shifts popping up like rabbits out Central. This year I fully intend to gain some time management skills in order to avoid making a habit of gifting "IOU Hat/Scarf/Socks/Mittens" notes!

(Lol, we'll see how well I go with THAT!)

I also stuffed a fill-your-own bag of random wool laps at the Milton Wool Mill Factory Shop, so I don't ruin my really nice fleece while I learn!

There we go: First Post of 2012 done, dusted and out of the way.

Onwards and upwards to greater things!